Photo: Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock

SAS Pilot Strike Strands Thousands of Passengers

News Airports + Flying
by Eben Diskin Apr 26, 2019

After SAS pilots in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark went on strike, the airline has canceled hundreds of flights around the world. As of right now, 673 flights have been canceled, impacting 72,000 passengers. Seventy percent of the flights are canceled for today and Saturday, wrecking the travel plans of about 170,000 passengers. The strike is a response to the breakdown of negotiations over pay and work schedules between pilot associations and Scandinavian Airlines.

SAS had apologized to passengers for the inconvenience, and is pledging to come to an agreement with pilots as soon as possible. It did, however, warn that meeting the pilots’ demands would have negative consequences for the airline. Indeed, the airline is currently in the midst of updating its aging fleet of planes, and faces stiff competition from budget airlines like Ryanair, easyJet, and Norwegian.

Pilots currently earn an average of $9,700 per month, but are asking for a 13 percent wage increase. The demands also include changes to pilots’ work schedules. According to a statement from the SAS Pilot Group, “Many SAS pilots have no control over when and how long they have to work. In a worst case scenario, they risk having to work seven weekends in a row.”

If you happen to have an SAS flight booked for this weekend or next week, you are advised to check the dedicated page for all information about traffic disruptions, which is continuously updated.


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